Disposing of expired prescriptions

How to?

I have some old prescriptions I need to get rid of. Painkillers. What’s the proper way to dispose of them? I read a report a while back about groundwater contamination by prescription drugs and don’t want to contribute even in a small way by flushing them.

I always take unused medicine back to a pharmacy and let them dispose of it. They are the experts, after all…

Here is a site that shows a way to dispose of drugs without flushing them. (.pdf file)

Basically, pharmacies have to pay to send drugs to be destroyed, and that’s the reasoning behind usually not accepting drugs back from patients. In some states, it is against the law to accept medication from a patient once it has left the pharmacy. The above site recommends finding a hazardous waste disposal company in your area, which seems like the best idea. Otherwise you can follow the directions given.

Also, check with your pharmacy to make sure it is not illegal in your area to dispose of prescriptions in the above manner.

Skerri, pharmacy technician